Peaceful 06

Helena (Heli) (Bartonova) McGuire

June 3, 1951 ~ September 5, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old


Helena McGuire

September 5, 2023

Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Rower, Nurse, Coach, Caregiver, Fighter

Helena (Heli) McGuire (nee Bartonova) of Gainesville, GA, died on September 5, 2023.

Helena was born June 3, 1951 in Novy Jičín, (now) Czech Republic / Czechia, and moved to the United States with her first husband Bob McGuire in 1974, settling in the Ithaca, NY area. Helena had two daughters and enjoyed summers on Chebeague Island Maine with them.

 Helena always loved music, having been in a rock band in high school where she sang and played guitar. She studied several languages (Russian, Slovak, German, and English). During the 1990’s Helena was a Paramedic and earned a RN degree. She then worked in the Ithaca College student health clinic.

In Ithaca she fell in love with rowing at the Cascadilla Boat Club, where she excelled in the adult competitive category of women’s lightweight sculling. Over the years she won numerous awards at major eastern competitions and eventually began coaching as well. 

 In 2002 she relocated to Gainesville, GA with her second husband John Ferriss where they became immediately involved as rowers and coaches with the Lake Lanier Rowing Club. She also coached rowing at Brenau University for several years.

Helena always put others before herself and was a dedicated caregiver to friends and relatives. Helena was fully engaged with her grandsons and loved building forts with them. She loved traveling to Maine and Colorado to visit them.

Helena was preceded in death by her parents and youngest sister Maruska Malounová (all in the Czech Republic).

She is survived by her sister Alena Hodycová (Čelákovice, CZ), husband John Ferriss, daughters Christina McGuire (m. Brendan Adelman) (Parsonsfield, ME), and Markéta McGuire (Golden, CO),

Grandsons, Cash Adelman, Elias Elsner, Arlo Elsner.  Stepsons Ashley (m, Dani) and Nathaniel Ferriss, step-grandsons Morgan and Riley Ferriss, brother-in-law Will Ferriss (m. Adrienne).

Celebrations of Life will be held in Gainesville, GA, Ithaca, NY, and Chebeague Island, ME. Chebeatue Island Library, 247 South Road #3, Chebeague Island, ME 04017 (USA)

In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to:

Cascadilla Boat Club

PO Box 4032

Ithaca,  NY   14852

or on-line at

Lake Lanier Rowing Club

PO Box 907035

Gainesville, GA  30501

Memorial Park Riverside Chapel 989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, Georgia is in charge of arrangements. For online condolences

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